What do martial arts instructors mean when they talk about evade to escape?
As we’ve mentioned in previous articles, evasion is an important aspect of teaching at Grace Martial Arts. Here’s the basic process for our instructors –
- First – teach awareness
- Second- teach preparation
- Third – teach evasion (escape and run)
- Fourth – teach invasion only when it’s necessary (stun and run)
Let’s take a closer look at the third step – evade to escape.
Be Aware and Ready
Evasion in a self-defense context means evading capture. How to teach and learn that is a combination of being aware and ready to escape in case of attack.
We start with situational awareness. We need to be aware of our situation at all times: location, environmental elements, time of day, who is close enough to you to be a possible threat, etc. We think of it as having our “radar up” in all directions (360 degrees). It means using all of your God-given senses to assess your safety at all times. It’s engaging mind, body and spirit for safety sake.
If what you see or hear doesn’t seem right or safe to you, move. That may mean walking faster or even running in a different direction because of what your senses tell you.
If someone approaches you in an aggressive manner, yield and clear. That means moving away from them quickly and in a direction that makes it difficult for them to reach you. If you can evade and escape before they grab you, you should be fine.
However, what happens if someone grabs you? The good news is you still can evade to escape.
We teach children, teens and women to yell something that other people would understand as a distress signal. An example for children might be – “Help! Bad man! Not my daddy! Bad man! Help!” An example for women might be – “Help! Bad man! Hurt me! Help me! Bad man!” Any words that are easy to understand and describe the danger you’re in should work well.
Escape and Run!
We teach how to get away from a variety of grabs, but it’s important to remember to run after getting away. If we do a great job escaping from a grab but don’t run away, the attacker will just grab us again. We have to do several things in two seconds or less:
We teach children how to zig-zag run so it’s more difficult for attackers to chase and grab them again. We also teach children to continue yelling descriptive words (e.g. words that describe the attack and attacker) while they’re running. They can stop yelling when they reach a safe distance away from the attacker as long as the attacker isn’t still chasing them.
But what if we don’t escape from the grab or the attacker catches up with us? What do we do then?
We’ll look at that next time on Grace Martial Arts.
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